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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Power Mac - Buy Now Or Wait?


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Emerson

 
Member Since: Feb 26, 2007
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Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready to trade up my current Mac G5 dual 2.7 for an Intel-Mac Quad 2.6. Someone suggested that I wait until the newer generations come out before I do and I was wondering what the current wisdom is on that subject. And, if I should wait, how long do you think it will be before the newer versions would be available? Thanks for all your help and guidance.
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Kash

 
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There are rumors floating around that a new revision of the Mac Pro is around the corner, though most probably they won't be announced till Leopard is released. It's officially slated for a Spring 2007 release, and I've seen dates ranging from late March to mid-June.

If you really need a new computer right now, then I say go for it. Anything you buy now will still be a solid machine for several years. Plus, upgrading to Leopard won't cost you that much anyway.
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mac57

 
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I would advice sitting still for the moment. Most apps are not really structured to benefit from multi cores. As a result, you might not be trading up (2 cores to 4 cores), you might actually be trading down (slightly). Consider:

1/ There is a rough equivalence between a PPC G5 GHz and a Intel Core2Duo/Xeon GHz. Assuming the number of cores isn't much of a factor, since most apps aren't set to take advantage of it yet, you are actually REDUCING your CPU speed from 2.7 to 2.6!

2/ The PPC G5 is still more widely supported than the Intel core. For example, Photoshop and Microsoft Office still do not have Intel native versions yet. Hence both will run faster on your present PPC than on your proposed new Mac Pro. These are just two examples - there are tons more that are not yet Intel native (Universal = PPC + Intel Native)

3/ The new quad core Intel chips are out, and the rumor mill has it that an octal core (8 core) Mac Pro is imminent. Remember, the current Mac Pro is the first generation of Intel Mac Pro. It is due for a refresh soon.

4/ Finally, the Mac Pro you buy today will run Tiger, and you will want to upgrade it to Leopard when it comes out.

So, to summarize, I would wager that your present machine will outperform any new Mac Pro you can buy right now and will also run more software more quickly. Were you to buy a new quad core Mac Pro right now, you will kick yourself when in a few months a faster octal core is available for the same money AND it comes with Leopard pre-installed.

My advice? ... will be obvious by now of course ... sit still for another 6 months or so. Let Leopard come out and get its first few major bug fix updates released, let the next gen Mac Pro come out and go through any hardware shakeout that is needed, and THEN upgrade.

This is exactly what I am planning to do by the way!

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
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Emerson

 
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I think I might wait now that I see more reasons. I really love my G5 as it runs flawlessly and so I'm a little reluctant to give it up just yet as well. One more thing though, do either of you know of a website that gives comparisons between the 2.6 and 3. ghz machines? For $800.00 there ought to be quite a significant increase in something. Thanks again for all your help and your quick replies. Emerson
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mac57

 
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I am not aware of any such sites. The difference in price is really not performance related but cost of production related. My understanding is that the 2.66 and 3.0 chips come from the same batches. They are all tested for 3.0. The few that can sustain the 3.0 (and this is a low percentage) are shipped as such. The rest as 2.66. Hence, because fewer of them are available, the averaged cost per unit is higher. Supply and demand also plays a part I am sure (low supply, high demand) and finally, just good ol market based pricing.

The truth is that the 3.0 part is only ~ 13% faster than the 2.66 part. I don't see that such a paltry increase would ever be worth the delta in asking price. Just one man's opinion of course!

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007
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13% might not seem that fast, but remember its quad core. Hypothetically, it could make a difference if your doin some production type of work like Final Cut, Photoshop etc.
But personally, I would save 800 smackers and just be patient.
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